Can a plaintiff be considered a travelling employee for workers’ compensation purposes when he drives from his home to his employer’s office in Richmond, after driving to the employer's office?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from WCAT-2014-01595 (Re), 2014 CanLII 42764 (BC WCAT):

The defendants refer to WCAT-2005-01720 (Krishnalingam v. City of Vancouver et al.) in which the plaintiff, a janitor, was considered a travelling employee because he generally worked at multiple job sites in the course of one day, providing janitorial services at different commercial buildings. On the day of the accident he drove from his home to the employer’s office where he picked up a van and cleaning materials and went on to drive to five different work locations in the course of the day. He was on his way home after working at the final work location of the day when the assault that caused his injuries happened. The vice chair stated at page 10 of the section 257 determination: Pursuant to the policy at #18.40, the plaintiff would not be covered for workers’ compensation purposes in relation to his travel between his home and the company’s Richmond office. However, having regard to the fact that the plaintiff had no fixed schedule, and had to drive to multiple work sites as directed by his employer on a daily basis, I find that he was a “travelling worker.” With respect to the plaintiff’s travel on or about June 19, 2002, I find that he was covered for workers’ compensation purposes, after he picked up the company van in Richmond, in driving to the first job site, in his subsequent travel between job sites, and for his drive back to his home to sleep (subject to evidence being provided of a deviation from his work-required journey for personal reasons). Of course, the plaintiff was free to pursue other personal activities after completing his janitorial duties, and workers’ compensation coverage would not apply in connection with such travel. However, in the absence of such a personal deviation, I find that workers’ compensation coverage would apply in relation to the plaintiff’s drive home.

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